Soham dad tells of 10-year struggle

Blackburn Citizen: Holly Wells (left) and Jessica Chapman were murdered by school caretaker Ian Huntley 10 years ago Holly Wells (left) and Jessica Chapman were murdered by school caretaker Ian Huntley 10 years ago

The father of murdered Soham schoolgirl Holly Wells has said "time doesn't heal" the pain of losing his daughter but has vowed to "make it out the other side".

Kevin Wells said that while his grief at losing his daughter 10 years ago has not diminished, he has learned to live with what happened.

The 48-year-old said the murder of his daughter and her friend Jessica Chapman by school caretaker Ian Huntley took his family to breaking point and nearly destroyed his marriage to wife Nicola, 45.

But he has revealed that he made a decision not to let the tragedy destroy his family's future as he stood by the shallow grave where his daughter's body was discarded two weeks after her murder in 2002.

Speaking in an ITV documentary to mark the 10th anniversary of the girls' deaths, he said: "Time doesn't heal, someone got that wrong. It anaesthetises. Grief does not diminish, but you can manage the intensity and learn to live with it.

"Murder has the capacity to destroy more lives than the one taken. I recognised that from the start, so I tried to take control, to make plans and to exert positive thought.

"I clung to my family, my community, my work, sometimes to God and sometimes to a late-night tumbler of whisky. I chose to believe in the future, a future that I could craft from the life we once had. Really, all I wanted was for us to be the ones who'd make it out the other side."

Mr Wells revealed the couple, who had been together for 20 years when Holly was murdered, struggled to support each other as they "processed their grief at different speeds". "They say 95% of the parents of murdered children split up. We were determined to be among the 5% who survive," he said.

They also struggled financially as Mr Wells sold his window-cleaning business to focus on the trial, forcing the couple to remortgage their house and even rely on a £6,000 charity hand-out to pay bills. But it was when he re-started his business in 2005, later joined by his 16-year-old son Oliver, that the family began to get back on track.

He said: "Getting back to work was not just about money in the bank, it was also about what it represented - an everyday life, a familiar pattern, some kind of control."

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